Tuesday, January 20, 2009

on commitment and letting go - WordCamp Indonesia 2009

Each of the top 75 American Idol 4 contestants had to stand in front of Randy, Paula, and Simon singing their choice of song without any back up whatsoever. Before they started singing, they had to say the things they learned that week. If I were one of them, and if the week was last week, I would have said, "This week, I learned about commitment and letting go," as last weekend, I attended WordCamp Indonesia 2009, a forum privately organized by Valent Mustamin.

The forum gathered WordPress freaks from all over the world quite literally and figuratively. There were bloggers, developers, designers, theme designers, end users, publicists, marketers, educators, from Indonesia, Malaysia, and the USA. Well, alright. From Indonesia, Malaysia, and one from the US.

Throughout the whole two-day event, there is only one thing in- and exhaled by every single one people at Erasmus Huis auditorium: Commitment. I have never seen such strongly committed group at an event before.

It is only fair though, since one of the reasons behind the thriving of WordPress is its committed community. Initially conceived as a technology to automatically convert a double prime into a double quotation mark, WordPress grew to be a (if not the most) potential tool that reshapes how the people use and develop the internet.

It looks like that commitment is also hailed by the WordPress co-developer, Matt Mullenweg, who flew thousands of miles to see us, and generously shared some behind-the-curtain peek on WordPress' history, present, and future. He also informed us that Indonesia, a country with less than 10% penetration of the internet, is actually a strong force to be reckon with at Wordpress.com. Cool.

He and other speakers that include Romi Satria Wahono, Nanda Ivens, Nukman Luthfie, and a number of panelists, also shared their experience in dealing with WordPress, conveying a second lesson for me: letting go.

Matt shortly explained that letting go the feeling to control everything (in other word, delegating) was one of the keys to his success. Nanda implied that we need to start moving forward and letting go the complete cover-up of anything said about us or our products.

Romi let us know some of the techniques that he uses to use blogging as to educate his students. Nukman pointed out that letting go some closely guarded internal information and loosening the membrane to our customer was the point of new marketing, while the panels were letting go the sense of exclusivity of their projects, so that we were able to learn from them.

All and all, the highlights of the event was when Matt admitted that he is a typography freak, which for me, answers a LOT of questions to answer why I am so drawn to WordPress. I told him, that WordPress got me at "Hello," he wittily corrected saying that WordPress got me at "Howdy." Of course he's right.

It is also fair to say that we were all starstruck by the man behind WordPress, who is very real and approachable. I coyly apologized for being late to realize that it was his birthdayweek, and wished him happy birthweek. To that, he responded, "Oh, thanks and no problem. I intended to make it my birthmonth anyway."

Now we have as many as 7 American Idol winners already and are on our way to find number eight this year. But for the moment, last weekend, our American idol was standing right before our eyes.

At least mine.

PS: Other blog posts about WordCamp Indonesia 2009. Mostly written by bloggers much higher than my caliber. (Please feel free to add yours too in the comments section if I had not read/noticed yours).

A Thank You Note from Valent Mustamin.

Pitra had a chance to have dinner with Matt and others on the second day.

I took Kuncoro's infamous picture!

While wongkito took insanely creative pictures.

Even Matt recognized the popularity of crowd pleaser Ndoro Kakung.

The luckiest, yet deserving attendee: Rivermaya who won both the bonus on the first day and the grand door prize on the second day.

Rara is excited (or shocked?) that there's gonna be another WordPress update soon.

The other former Indo-Hamburger (but much more famous) in the room who was up till 3 but ready at 9. Respekt.

F from Bloggingly beat me to collecting review links from other bloggers.

PPS: Picture(s) will come up soon after I found my cell phone's USB cable. Gah!


Credo said...

Menarik.. menarik.. :D
Aku baru aja mulai pake Wordpress, utk website PPI Delft (cm biar gampang aja, drpd pake Joomla)

Bie said...

Gue saat ini no comment dulu deh kalo ngomongin WordPress vs Joomla. Hihihi..

Geget said...

Oh My GOD! I haven't been reading your blog for yearsss.. kayanya baru kemaren gw liat cuma ada O Pacote doang!.. my bad.. I will read and comment, esp. karena ada gue nya di salah satu post.. hehehe..

Eh, not only my bad deng, facebook's as well. hehe..

baby stroller said...

aku pake 2-2nya hehehe enak smua sih

tukang nggame ikut dukung kampanye damai pemilu indonesia 2009

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Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
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hanum said...

WordCamp Indonesia 2010 sebentar lagi akan berlangsung pada hari Sabtu, 30 Januari bertempat di Auditorium Universitas Gunadarma. Jangan lewatkan ^_^